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Potato Stocks, Scotland

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that large quantities of ware potatoes are rapidly deteriorating in the county of Angus because the Ministry cannot or will not dispose of them nor give permission to use potatoes for feeding livestock; what he intends to do in relation to this matter; why one processing factory situated in one of the largest potato growing districts of Scotland has drawn potatoes for processing from the extreme south of England during the early season and is now drawing supplies from Lincolnshire; why Scottish potatoes are not used in this factory; and whether he can give the tonnage of potatoes that have been sent from England to processing factories in Scotland during the last four months?

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that thousands of bags of potatoes are lying in stores and on farms in the East of Scotland which are sound but unsaleable owing to Ministry of Food regulations and are now beginning rapidly to deteriorate; that a processing factory in the heart of a potato district in Scotland is drawing its supplies mainly from England, while large quantities of suitable Scots potatoes are left unused; and what action he is taking to put a stop to this threatened waste of food?

I am not aware of any general complaint that potatoes in Angus or elsewhere in East Scotland are deteriorating rapidly. Stocks of ware potatoes remaining in the possession of growers in which serious wastage threatens will be bought by my Department from the growers for early disposal, but until the seasonal supply position is better known it would be wrong to allow the general feeding of potatoes to livestock. The processing factory referred to is making a special product for which the only potatoes so far known to be suitable are matured King Edward variety preferably grown on silt soil in districts adjacent to the Wash, and all supplies have been drawn from this source. Matured King Edwards have not been available locally up to now, but experiments are at present proceeding to find out which Scottish potatoes produced near the factory are suitable for the purpose in view. 1,477 tons of potatoes have been sent from England to Scotland during the last four months to this factory, which is the only one of its kind at present operating in Scotland.